Car mirrors allow you to observe your surroundings as you drive. They are a critical driving aid and essential for your safety, as well as the drivers around you. With help from your side-view and rearview mirrors, you are able to see what is next to and behind you. This is just as important as what is happening in front of you. For this reason, it is crucial to make sure your rearview and side-view mirrors are up to the task.
Rearview Mirrors Are Made To Shine
Your rearview mirror is made with flat glass. This means it gives a realistic reflection of what is going on. Its purpose is to allow you to see behind your vehicle without having to twist your neck around like an owl. This means you can monitor traffic conditions safely while driving and park your car more easily.
Keeping your rearview mirror clean is essential. Any sort of debris can limit visibility and response time. With a reputation for being easy to smudge and streak, proper cleaning is a must for your rearview mirror.
When cleaning rearview mirrors, ensure you’re using a clean cloth. Apply your chosen cleaner to the cloth. If you apply the cleaner directly to the mirror, it can actually seep behind the coating and create tarnish marks. Take a break from the traditional circular cleaning motion. This redeposits dust, dirt, and oils back on the surface of the mirror, leaving cloudiness and streaks. Wipe in an S-pattern from top to bottom. To finish off, use a microfiber cloth to dry and buff for that squeaky clean, streak-free finish.
Extra tip: it’s best to do this when the mirror is cool.
If you do end up seeing those black tarnish marks, there is no way to remove them. You’ll need to schedule a rearview mirror replacement, or in some unique cases, you may be able to do a rearview mirror repair. Either way, you’ll need an expert to help you repair your rearview mirror, especially if you have a specialty mirror that’s heated, has blind spot detection, has auto-dimming, or other unique features. Ensuring you have a skilled auto glass repair technician is important for high-quality glass repair and replacement.
Sideview Mirrors: Warping Perspectives
Your side-view mirrors are made with convex glass. This allows for a larger field of vision, but also minifies the objects shown in the mirror. That is why the mirrors have the warning on them, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” Heeding this warning allows you to make lane changes safely and back out of parking spots
The side-view mirrors are made out of very sensitive glass. It needs to be treated gently. When cleaning them, you should be sure to avoid abrasive cleaners and rough tools. A gentle cloth with warm water is a great way to clean them. If there is a lot of dirt and grime, you can mix in some soap as long as it isn’t ammonia-based.
There are many potential hazards out there waiting to prey on your innocent mirrors. Car washes are notorious for taking out side-view mirrors. Be sure you rotate them inward to avoid ending up on a video-fail compilation. Busy streets are also a perilous place for your mirrors. If your car allows it, fold your side-view mirrors tight to the car in order to minimize the risk of an accidental side-swipe.
Avoid fidgeting with the power mirror adjustments. How many times have you been waiting in your car and you started playing with the side-view mirror controls? The normal adjustment of your mirrors won’t harm anything, but regular fidgeting may lead to electrical shorts or damage the buttons themselves.
If you need a side-view mirror repair, think twice about turning it into a DIY project. The loose glass can be a real danger, and there may be electrical wiring and different cables you’ll need to accurately connect. The risk of something going awry doubles if you use specialty mirrors. Professional auto glass technicians are trained to handle these situations. They can safely remove the loose glass, and align the mirror so it’s exactly in place with the old one.